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Open Data through the prism of the defence community

By Glyn Arthur on Feb 15, 2017


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For us at Luciad, who view the concept of Open Data through the prism of the defence community, we regard the keys to the success of the Open Belgium project as being interoperability and data quality.

To achieve those two goals there are rules and principles that we must understand, these being that the that the data must be available as a whole and at no more than a reasonable reproduction cost, preferably by downloading over the internet. The data must also be available in a convenient and modifiable form. It is equally important that the data must be provided under terms that permit re-use and redistribution including the intermixing with other datasets.

Finally it is vital that everyone must be able to use, re-use and redistribute the data sets. There should be no discrimination against fields of endeavour or against persons or groups. For example, ‘non-commercial’ restrictions that would prevent ‘commercial’ use, or restrictions of use for certain purposes (e.g. only in education), should not be allowed.

Perhaps the most important topic is data quality. Original data quality is important and traceability of modifications (to be stored in Metadata Lineage) is equally important. For us to achieve this we must be able to consume the data sets without having to transform them which always introduces a risk of decreasing the quality and the accuracy.

In defence world, where we at Luciad most often work we often see the seven principles adopted by the US Army but now widely shared, these are:

Principle 1: Data is an enterprise asset. Information is enterprise currency. Knowledge is an enterprise resource.

Principle 2: Data is a physical representation of information but is not the same thing as information.

Principle 3: Effective decision making and effective process execution in the Military environment requires effective information sharing.

Principle 4: Information creators and managers have a responsibility and obligation to make their data visible and accessible to authorized consumers.

Principle 05: The information that drives decision making and processes is available to authorised consumers regardless of their location or the time of their request.

Principle 6: Compliance with all governance and guidance documentation will enable, facilitate and promote effective information sharing among information systems and meet information-sharing objectives.

Principle 7: The effectiveness of governance documentation can be measured (in part) by the cost savings that result from adopting the guidance/solutions.

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written by Glyn Arthur
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